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Massachusetts (/ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ i MASS-ə-CHOO-sits, /-zɪts/ -⁠zits; Massachusett: Muhsachuweesut [məhswatʃəwiːsət]), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to its east, Connecticut and Rhode Island to its south, New Hampshire and Vermont to its north, and New York to its west. Massachusetts is the sixth-smallest state by land area; with over seven million residents, it is the most populous state in New England, the 16th-most-populous in the country, and the third-most densely populated, after New Jersey and Rhode Island. The state's capital and most populous city, as well as its cultural and financial center, is Boston. Other major cities are Worcester, Springfield and Cambridge. Massachusetts is also home to the urban core of Greater Boston, the largest metropolitan area in New England and a region profoundly influential upon American history, academia, and the research economy. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services, and in the 21st century it is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Massachusetts has played a powerful scientific, commercial, and cultural role in U.S. history. Before the American Civil War, the state was a center for the abolitionist, temperance, and transcendentalist movements. In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. Massachusetts has a reputation for social and political progressivism, becoming the first U.S. state, and one of the earliest jurisdictions in the world, to legally recognize same-sex marriage; Boston is considered a hub of LGBT culture and activism in the United States. Prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. (Full article...)

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